This week I had the opportunity to meet with CREATOR and Storytellers Alum, Allison Rose. I was extra excited for this week’s post, as I began experimenting with video. Here, for the very first time on the PeaceLove Blog, is an acoustic performance of “I’m Alive” off Allison’s EP, Hope.
Allison has been a PeaceLove CREATOR for the past three years, and conducts her workshops at Eleanor Slater Hospital, where she works in the forensics psychiatric unit with patients who have involvement in the legal system.
Allison writes all her music, and is largely inspired by the people in her life. Her song, “18 Years”, was inspired by a patient who stepped out into the night for the first time since his long-term stay in the hospital. He looked up at the night sky in complete awe and exclaimed, “I haven’t seen the stars in 18 years.”
One thing Allison really wants everyone to understand about her population is that, “We’re all equally human. Anyone of us could be in someone else’s shoes, had the tables been turned even slightly.” The PeaceLove workshops are similar to other therapies that come into Eleanor Slater, but what sets PeaceLove apart is that it is not therapy—it’s purely therapeutic. Unlike a lot of activities in their day, it is not mandatory. It is an experience that allows for people to explore, and have a chance to be creative. PeaceLove workshops are entirely voluntary. Patients can decide if they want to participate and, even then, how much they want to share about what they have made. It provides a sense of agency.
I spent some time with Allison talking about her own creative journey, and how she came to performing. Allison grew up playing music, she but didn’t begin writing or performing until her adult years. “I was tired of watching everyone else do what I wanted to do”, she told me.
Of all the things Allison said, this spoke to me the most. I think there’s this idea that all creative people are naturally confident and outgoing. The truth is, a lot of people struggle to put themselves out there, or to say, “I’m an artist.” I think self-doubt comes with the artistic process. It’s good to be humble, but it’s crucial to properly value ourselves as well.
As we make our way through 2019, I want to challenge all of us to make those brave, creative leaps that we’ve been pushing off. Whether it be sharing our work, or working up the courage to create, I hope we can all be inspired by Allison’s story.
Once again, thank you Allison for sharing your beautiful work. For those who want to hear more, all of Allison’s music and information can be found at http://allisonrosemusic.com/.
Victoria Rose is a writer and musician from Providence, Rhode Island. firstname.lastname@example.org